Abbottabad commission questions Bin Laden widows, daughters

By AFP
Published: October 5, 2011

Pakistan took custody of Bin Laden's widows after the May 2 US raid. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The commission investigating the May 2 US raid in Abbottabad has interviewed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s widows and daughters for the first time, it said Wednesday.

The “exhaustive interview” of Bin Laden’s three widows and two of his daughters took place on Tuesday, the commission announced in a brief statement.

Officials refused to divulge any further details.

Pakistan took custody of Bin Laden’s widows, two Saudis and one Yemeni, and around 10 of their children, after US Navy SEALs killed him and flew off with his body from Abbottabad.

The incident plunged US-Pakistani relations into crisis.

Initial efforts to repatriate the women and children ran aground when the commission in July ordered them to remain in Pakistan until further notice, indicating that it wanted to question them in relation to its inquiries.

The commission also interviewed the head of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, Ahmad Shuja Pasha, on Wednesday and would question him again on Thursday, it said.

(Read: “Bin Laden raid: ISI officials brief Abbottabad commission on US raid”)

Questioning of a serving ISI chief by a civilian panel is extremely rare Pakistan where military intelligence is both feared and respected in equal measures and where the power of the army outstrips that of civilian leaders.

The discovery that Bin Laden lived in Abbottabad, seemingly for five years, and the unilateral American raid have been described by critics as the military’s worst disaster since Bangladesh separated from the country in 1971.

On Tuesday, members of the commission interviewed Doctor Shakil Afridi, a government surgeon who is being questioned over a free vaccination campaign he reportedly launched in March-April in the bin Laden’s neighbourhood.

Security officials in the area believe the doctor may have known about bin Laden’s presence and shared the information with US intelligence agents.

The commission has the power to summon military and civilian leaders.

The commission is tasked with investigating the “full facts” regarding Bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan, the circumstances of the American raid that killed him and the lapses “if any” of Pakistani authorities.

Reader Comments (15)

  • Ahmad
    Oct 5, 2011 - 8:13PM

    Does the commission has courage to say ‘ the wives are fake’ , and the story of bin ladens killing is altogether a fabricated…..or its converse?Recommend

  • Cautious
    Oct 5, 2011 - 8:20PM

    Questioning of a serving ISI chief by a civilian panel is extremely rare Pakistan where military intelligence is both feared and respected in equal measures and where the power of the army outstrips that of civilian leaders
    .
    Lack of civilian oversight contributes to many of the problems that Pakistan faces — the list of alleged nefarious acts by the ISI is long and I suspect that many/most outside of Pakistan believe those allegations.

    Recommend

  • J.Nazar
    Oct 5, 2011 - 9:15PM

    Why cant the finding be made public and end all the conspiracy theories? Why cant an Interview be conducted of all 3 wives of OBL on camera & broadcast on TV? What has the Govt got to hide?

    Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo
    Oct 5, 2011 - 9:16PM

    If it takes the commission 4mths before they question the wives the report will come out in a few years if ever.

    Recommend

  • Gen Pasha (retd)
    Oct 5, 2011 - 9:19PM

    I think it’s the ISI that needs to be questioned along with Political personalities…Recommend

  • khalis
    Oct 5, 2011 - 10:01PM

    obl widows.
    huh
    obl wasnt even in pak from where the hell his widow appeared.

    or may be nation was misguided again.

    Recommend

  • Adeel759
    Oct 5, 2011 - 11:14PM

    @Khalis. You must be living in Pluto or Pakistan? I think commission should ask them if OBL took them (Family Members) to Mansehra for SajjI.

    Recommend

  • Grace
    Oct 6, 2011 - 1:03AM

    Time to deport these Arabs and all foreigners including Chechens, Uzbeks, Afghanis etc from Pakistan. We have suffered enough due to these undesireable elements.

    Recommend

  • Lone Star
    Oct 6, 2011 - 2:45AM

    The whole gist of the story is that one bad ugly terrorist is dead and the world knows that how incapable and incompetent our authorities are. It feels sometimes that our military and the governament protected him at the cost of countless innocent Pakistani lives.

    Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo
    Oct 6, 2011 - 6:35AM

    @Adeel759: Where ever he is his head is in the sand

    Recommend

  • BruteForce
    Oct 6, 2011 - 8:03AM

    The Right-WIngers allege OBL was killed long back and the raid was a fake. I wonder what conspiracy theory they can spin about his wives living in Pakistan left by the US troops after the raid.

    The denial about OBL achieves many things for the right in Pakistan.
    1) They can paint US as evil.
    2) They can deny Pakistan has done any wrong, hence they dont have to really question the Pak Establishment and in turn soothe their egos.
    3) Their image of the great martial Pak Army stays intact.
    4) Can play victim with these theories.

    What they cant mask is the fact that there are physical and Human evidence of OBL living in Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • malik
    Oct 6, 2011 - 9:33AM

    OBL was never in Pakistan and this everyone one knows. The supposed ‘wives’ and ‘relatives’ are actually out of work actresses. US is paying Pak heavily just to concoct these stories. My uncle in the army says ‘for every relative of OBL, US is paying 1 million dollar per month.’

    If they are really OBL’s wives, then why their photographs are not shown? Why can’t they be interviewed on TV?

    PS: I don’t believe any of the crap I wrote above. I am sure someone else will write along the same lines and I just want to pre-empt those guys and I want to be the first….

    Recommend

  • Ghaznavi
    Oct 6, 2011 - 1:24PM

    @ Brute force

    Pls share the evidence with usRecommend

  • BruteForce
    Oct 6, 2011 - 9:53PM

    @Ghaznavi,

    Physical evidence is like the pic above. Its the fact that Pakistan actually arrested the Doctor who helped CIA in the guise of polio vaccinations. Remember him? Poor guy.

    Human evidence are his wives and children. And, the people of Abbottabad.

    Other evidences are like this report. Here..Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo
    Oct 7, 2011 - 8:38AM

    @malik: First of the block

    Recommend

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